Is it the Beginning of the end for PlayStation VR’s Dark Eclipse?

Japanese developer SUNSOFT returned to the western market last year with the launch of free-to-play MOBA Dark Eclipse for PlayStation VR. To make money the developer sold in-game content, with players having to purchase Dark Coins to buy characters, outfits and other items. Recently, however, the studio has announced it’ll cease purchasable content from PlayStation Store.

Dark Coins will only be available for purchase until 26th July 2019, 23.59 BST. After that, they’ll no longer be available, although any that players have purchased will still be useable after that date. The studio made the announcement on Twitter, linking to an update page with a few more details. In addition to the Dark Coins, patch 3.0 will be the last update released for Dark Eclipse although SUNSOFT will continue to support the game with any critical functionality patches if necessary.

And what’s the reason for this shift, SUNSOFT’s reasoning isn’t exactly clear: “In order to continue giving fans the best possible play experience, we are continually reviewing our projects and made the decision to cease any purchases for DARK ECLIPSE content from the PlayStation Store.”

So for the meantime, it looks like Dark Eclipse players can still enjoy playing the online experience, but after July there’s going to be little in the way of encouragement for new players to join in. And who knows, if the player count does rapidly fall after that then SUNSOFT is likely to pull the plug on the servers as well.

VRFocus reviewed Dark Eclipse at launch, only giving it 3-stars, saying: “Dark Eclipse works well enough, but the mixture of MOBA and RTS elements means it feels watered-down and lacking a firm identity. For a free to play title, it is solid, and worth considering for RTS fans.”

As many a developer has found, the VR industry can be a tough one – even more than the standard videogame industry – especially for pure online multiplayers like Dark Eclipse. Some titles like Firewall Zero Hour do manage to buck the trend, and it certainly helps to be on PlayStation VR with its large user base. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Dark Eclipse, should SUNSOFT have any further updates.

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